During this heat wave, some DC spots are too hot to handle

9:33 AM, Jul 19, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Temperatures in the 90s are nothing unusual in D.C., but the intense heat has been baking us for four straight days now. 

The intense sunshine makes it even worse, because it can heat surfaces to much higher temperatures than the air, which means it might be too hot to sit in your favorite spot. 

Even the Metro, usually a cool respite in the summer, isn't bringing much relief right now. Metro travelers said it only felt about 10 degrees cooler down there, and it was just as humid.

The heat is more intense in the city because of all of the pavement we have here. The heat from the sun stays in the pavement during the overnight hours, preventing us from cooling down, too.

We used an infrared heat-sensing gun to find out just how hot it can get on some common surfaces.

- The granite at Freedom Plaza, where people frequently sit to have lunch, was about 127 degrees. The metal hand railing was much cooler, at about 105 degrees.

- The black painted benches lining the National Mall were an astounding 167 degrees.

- The sidewalk at Dupont Circle was 141 degrees. The asphalt was about the same, at 143 degrees.

- Some playground equipment at Eaton Elementary School in Northwest D.C. was 154 degrees.

All these measurements were taken at midday in the sunshine. So keep in mind, during a sunny heat wave... objects might be much hotter than they appear.